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More than 7,780 Koreans living with HIV

More than 7,780 South Koreans have been infected with HIV, health authorities said Wednesday.

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 9,410 South Korean were diagnosed with HIV between 1985 and 2012. Among them, 1,622 people died.

Last year, 808 South Korean men and 60 South Korean women were newly infected with HIV. The KCDC said 541 out of 868 HIV carriers became infected through sexual contact.

The virus, which is also spread through transfusion of contaminated blood, infects cells of the immune system, leading to “immune deficiency,” according to the World Health Organization.

The KCDC said 85 foreigners in South Korea were newly diagnosed with HIV, though it did not give details on their nationality.

There is no cure for HIV, but with good and continued adherence to antiretroviral treatment, the progression of HIV in the body can be slowed to a near halt, according to the WHO.

As of 2011, 34 million people around the world were living with HIV/AIDS, and 1.7 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses, according to the world health body. (Yonhap News)